The British Theatre Academy is lining up youth productions of Neil Bartram and Brian Hill’s The Adventures of Pinocchio and Jason Robert Brown’s 13 The Musical to play London’s Ambassadors Theatre this summer.
Following on from the success of previous BTA summer shows, The Secret Garden at the Ambassadors last year and Annie Jr at the Arts Theatre in 2015, the new productions will once again give young performers a chance to act for the first time in the West End.
The double bill will begin with The Adventures of Pinocchio which will run from 28 July until 31 August with a press night on Tuesday 1 August. Directed by Bronagh Langan (Promises, Promises, Southwark Playhouse), the musical version of Carlo Collodi’s timeless tale of the wooden doll who dreams of being a real-life boy, was written by the Broadway and Disney writing team of Bartram and Hill (Bedknobs and Broomsticks).
Running from 16- 23 August (with a press night on Thursday 16 August) the BTA production of Tony Award winner Brown’s 13 The Musical will be directed and choreographed by Ewan Jones (choreographer on Ragtime, Charing Cross Theatre). A coming-of-age musical comedy, the show features a book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn.
Referring to last Sunday’s sell-out fundraising concert and unveiling the plans for the two summer musicals, the BTA’s Matthew Chandler said: “The Color Purple in Concert at Cadogan Hall on Sunday was an unforgettable night for the audience and for our youngsters getting to perform alongside stars from the West End and Broadway.
“It has been an incredible year for the BTA and to date all our productions and concerts have given 1,500 children the chance to perform on the West End stage.
“For our summer season, more than 2,000 young people auditioned for The Adventures of Pinocchio and over 1,000 teenagers for 13 The Musical. In total, we have 17 teams of actors performing The Adventures of Pinocchio and 3 teams performing 13 The Musical. This is a fantastic opportunity for all the youngsters involved.”